Eight-year-old Ben Bondurant was sweeping snow off his porch at home when an idea struck. Why not make the job easier by attaching a brush to a boot?
And so the third grade Auxvasse Elementary School student took some PVC pipe, a small brush, a boot and tied it all together to create "snow sweeper boots." Ben's invention won second place in the second and third grade division Tuesday night during the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program's Invention Convention held at Auxvasse Elementary.
Tuesday's convention was the second part of an event put together by the Creative Arts Program. The first part, Young Inventor's Workshop, was held Jan. 15 in the Auxvasse Elementary Library and included teaching students from second to eighth grade how to brainstorm, solve problems and invent.
Jenny Bondurant, president of the arts program, said the students were shown how to identify a problem and find its solution. She said they were also taught about famous inventors down through history. This was the first year the Invention Convention was held, and Bondurant said she got the idea to start it from a program she was in as a student called Invent America.
Mary Jane Shultz, who was a judge at Tuesday's convention, started the Invent America program in North Callaway many years ago. She is a retired teacher of the North Callaway Autonburg gifted program and thinks invention programs teach students to think and be creative.
"It makes them try to solve problems," she said.
Fifth-grader Erica Garrett, 10, came up with a sunflower seed cracker she called "Crack-O-Rama."
"I can't crack sunflower seeds in my mouth," Garrett explained, "so I made a sunflower seed cracker."
She made the poster behind her project herself, but she said her dad helped her construct the wooden cracker. However, she painted the flowers on it herself.
"I'm an artist," Garrett said.
Garrett's cracker won first place in the fourth and fifth grade division. Ethan Backer and Tyler Bondurant tied for second in the same division, and Christa Gilman came in third.
Haley Garrett tied with Clara Moser for first place in the second and third grade division, with Kileigh Horner coming in third.
Haley's invention was a glow in the dark flashlight. The seven-year-old said she came up with the idea by thinking about how when the lights go out, "you can't find your flashlight."